Friday, 31 January 2020
Thursday, 23 January 2020
Acacia melanoxylon (Australian blackwood, black wattle, blackwood wattle, mudgerabah), is a tree up to 20 m high, with a bole of about 150 cm in diameter. The bark on older trunks is dark greyish-black in colour, deeply fissured and somewhat scaly. Younger branches are ribbed, angular, or flattened towards their tips and are greenish in colour. These branchlets are usually mostly hairless (glabrous or glabrescent), but the stems of younger plants are sometimes more obviously hairy (densely pubescent).
The pale yellow, cream or whitish coloured flowers are fluffy in appearance due to the presence of numerous stamens. They are densely arranged into small rounded clusters (5-10 mm across), each containing numerous (30-56) flowers. Each individual flower in this cluster is stalkless (sessile) and has five relatively inconspicuous petals and sepals. The flower clusters are borne on stalks (peduncles) 5-14 mm long and are alternately arranged on a short branch (6-40 mm long) emanating from a 'leaf' fork (phyllode axil). These compound flower clusters (axillary racemes) generally contain only 2-8 of the small globular flower clusters. Flowering can occur throughout the year.
Acacia melanoxylon is cultivated in forestry plantings as it is used for lumber, fuelwood and also in amenity plantings. The wood is used for light construction, tool handles, turnery and fence posts. It is used as a nurse tree in the rehabilitation of disturbed natural forests.
Sunday, 19 January 2020
As the days shorten, Summer is beginning to decline and fruit is setting in preparation for Autumn.
Clivia nobilis (green-tip forest lily), is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia, of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to South Africa. It grows to about 38 cm. It has evergreen strap-shaped leaves, and bears pendant umbels of multiple narrow, trumpet-shaped, red and yellow flowers, tipped with green. At a minimum temperature of 10 °C, in temperate regions it is normally cultivated as a houseplant.
Like its relative C. miniata It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017). Charlotte Percy (née Clive), Duchess of Northumberland (1787–1866), governess of Queen Victoria, was the first to cultivate the plant in the United Kingdom and bring it to flower. The whole genus was subsequently named after the Duchess.
This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.
Friday, 17 January 2020
Thursday, 16 January 2020
Leucadendron is a genus of about 80 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, endemic to South Africa, where they are a prominent part of the fynbos ecoregion and vegetation type. Species in the genus Leucadendron are small trees or shrubs that are erect or creeping. Most species are shrubs that grow up to 1 m tall, some to 2 or 3 m. A few grow into moderate-sized trees up to 16 m tall. All are evergreen.
The leaves are largely elliptical, sometimes needle-like, spirally arranged, simple, entire, and usually green, often covered with a waxy bloom, and in the case of the Silvertree, with a distinct silvery tone produced by dense, straight, silky hairs. This inspired the generic name Leucadendron, which literally means "white tree". The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences at the branch tips; plants are dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The seed heads, or infructescences, of Leucadendron are woody cone-like structures. This gave rise to their generic common name cone-bush. The cones contain numerous seeds. The seed morphology is varied and reflects subgeneric groupings within the genus.
Shown here is Leucadendron salignum 'Fireglow'. It has red-tipped, green foliage, with masses of red flower bracts from early autumn to early spring. It prefers a well drained, acidic soil and will tolerate light frosts, as well as coastal conditions. Prune after flowering and fertilise with an acidic fertiliser sparingly. This plant has a moderate water requirement once established. These flowers bracts make excellent cut flowers. The plants compact nature makes it ideal for small hedges, general landscaping, and looks fantastic in decorative pots.
Thursday, 9 January 2020
Rosa 'Just Joey' was bred by Cants of Colchester, United Kingdom, in 1972. It was named for the wife of the Managing Director of Cants of Colchester, Joey Pawsey. This Hybrid Tea rose performs well throughout Australia and there are many fine specimens in Melbourne gardens, beginning with ours, where we have no less than four bushes of this variety!
The plant is vigorous and grows well, achieving a height of 1.5 m and width of 1.2 m. Flowers are borne one per stem and can be of an impressive size (up to 20cm in Spring and Autumn, slightly smaller during Summer). The bush is disease and heat resistant and tends to survive well with a little care.
The flower is an eye-catching ripe apricot colour with a loose, informal display of pretty frilled petals. Probably its most seductive feature is its intense, spicy fragrance which will quickly fill a room, when a bunch is placed in a vase. This perfume is inherited from its parents (Fragrant Cloud x Dr. A.J. Verhage) also renowned for their strong scent. It has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit 1993 and World’s Favourite Rose 1994.When introduced, its colour and size of flowers were considered breakthroughs. This lovely rose is readily available and will reward and delight any rose lover!
Sunday, 5 January 2020
Friday, 3 January 2020
“What breaks in daybreak? Is it the night? Is it the sun, cracked in two by the horizon like an egg, spilling out light?” ― Margaret Atwood
This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme.
Thursday, 2 January 2020
Telopea speciosissima or the “waratah” is a native Australian plant with spectacular flowers. Robert Brown (1773-1858) named the genus Telopea in 1810 from specimens collected in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Sir James Smith (1759-1828), a noted botanist and founder of the Linnaean Society in England, wrote in 1793: 'The most magnificent plant which the prolific soil of New Holland affords is, by common consent, both of Europeans and Natives, the Waratah. It is moreover a favourite with the latter, upon account of a rich honeyed juice which they sip from its flowers'.
The generic name Telopea is derived from the Greek 'telopos', meaning 'seen from afar', and refers to the great distance from which the crimson flowers are discernible. The specific name speciosissima is the superlative of the Latin adjective 'speciosus', meaning 'beautiful' or 'handsome'. 'Waratah', the Aboriginal name for the species, was adopted by early settlers at Port Jackson.
Telopea is an eastern Australian genus of four species. Two are confined to New South Wales, one to Tasmania and one extends from eastern Victoria into New South Wales. Telopea belongs to the family, Proteaceae, which is predominantly Australian and southern African. The Waratah is a stout, erect shrub which may grow to 4 metres. The dark green leathery leaves, 13-25 cm in length, are arranged alternately and tend to be coarsely toothed. The flowers are grouped in rounded heads 7 to 10 cm in diameter surrounded by crimson bracts, about 5 to 7 cm long. It flowers from September to November and nectar-seeking birds act as pollinators. Large winged seeds are released when the brown leathery pods split along one side.
The species is fairly widespread on the central coast and adjoining mountains of New South Wales, occurring from the Gibraltar Range, north of Sydney, to Conjola in the south. It grows mainly in the shrub understorey in open forest developed on sandstone and adjoining volcanic formations, from sea level to above 1000 metres in the Blue Mountains. Soils within its range tend to be sandy and low in plant nutrients. Rainfall is moderately high. Waratah plants resist destruction by bushfires, a natural element of their habitat, by regenerating from the rootstock. Flowering recommences two years after a moderate fire.
The Waratah is a spectacular garden subject in suitable soil and climate; it flowers prolifically and tends to be long-lived. The Waratah occurs naturally in at least ten national parks in the geological formation, know as the Sydney Basin. Brisbane Water, Dharug and Macquarie Pass National Parks are among the areas where this species is conserved. Waratahs are cultivated north of Sydney and in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria. They are grown in Israel, New Zealand and Hawaii for the cut flower trade. It was introduced to England in 1789 but cannot survive English winters out of doors except in the south-west coastal regions, and it rarely flowers in glasshouses. It is also cultivated in California.